We have had a very very rough on again off again relationship. Even before I knew who you were I could hear you cheering me on, pulling me forward and pushing me. In my “glory days of High School” I didn’t know who you where but you were there with me. Pushing me to my limits, pushing me to be faster and better. To always be number one or die trying. But even then, you kept your distance. You always stayed arm’s length away as if I wasn’t ready for you yet. You stayed in the shadows till after I graduated then POOF you were gone… Gone for 8 years and in those 8 year I went from 130lbs to 265lbs, I became overweight and lazy.
Was it you beast mode that dropped the Tough Mudder advertising in front of me? Was it you that ignited that primal passion to run, lift, get dirty, get sweaty and feel pain? I remember feeling that familiar rush of adrenaline that you used to tease me with from the shadow in High School. In 2011, when all this started, for once in a long long time I felt at home again, I felt alive. I trained hard for my First OCR not knowing it was going to change my life; but you did didn’t you? I was beat up and broken after my first event, I had cuts and bruises. I could hardly walk because I bruised my hip bone really bad, but I was smiling with every wince of pain.
From 2011 to early 2013 I did every race I could find, every OCR (some that are not even around anymore). I learned about this thing called GORUCK, a bunch of crazy people who wanted to put on heavy back packs called rucks and be yelled at by a Former Military Badass. Was it you that made sure that I ran into your other child Ryan? A man who lived and breathed OCR, GORUCK, living life to the fullest, and embraced you? From the day that met that man, you started to show yourself more and more. I started training smarter, faster and harder. I wanted to be like Ryan I wanted to be embraced by you beast mode, but you always just stayed out of my grasp.
In the Year 2013 my life fell apart. Divorce hit. My home life became a shell of beer, depression, and not caring. But you made sure Ryan was around me, didn’t you? Made sure I stayed moving and had a ZEST for life even though I didn’t want to live. Even though I wanted to end it all, you stayed around and all of the sudden your other children started to pop up in my life. I met more GORUCKERS and I was there at the start of the great racing team, Colorado Obstacle Racers – as my family life crumbled you brought other beast mode children around me. But my dearest Beast mode, how come when Ryan left this world only then did you FULLY embrace me? Why did you decide to imbued me with his soul and zest for life Why did you then turn me into a Crossfit, OCR, trail running monster? In paraphrasing Margaret Schlachter in her letter to you “WHY I BROKE UP WITH BEAST MODE…” and mixing it with mine…
“ I was in love with the idea of pushing to the breaking point, sacrificing sleep, training tired, setting aside the pain for the glory at the end. You taught me to “embrace the suck” you taught me how to suffer through the pain. You taught me to succeed. We pulled all my efforts into a singular goal, winning. You taught me discipline; you helped me try new things and meet new people.”
Only then for the next 2 years I felt your full embrace from crushing Spartan Ultra beast and then telling Spartan to make them harder to laughing off every GORUCK I attempted. On some days I would even do more than one event. I… WAS…. AN… ANIMAL.. your fellow children even gave me the Nickname “Unbreakable”… I was full beast mode. I was a Podium chaser and at the time I was a top 100 Spartan
As I look back I can see it, I can feel it in my soul – Beast mode you left. I am back to the shadows again.. just giving me an “Adda boy” once in a while when I did good? Where did you go beast mode? Why did you “leave the building” wasn’t it obvious I still needed you?
This is my Letter within a letter, my plea:
Dear BEAST MODE…
I want you back… I need you back. Please don’t leave me yet. These last 2 years have been rough on me. I need that drive back. I need that push to get up early, to run late at night, to put that god damn Taco Bell away. Beast mode don’t you miss me? Do you enjoy seeing me fail at every event I go after, or just squeak by even when I train? Was it cause I just was winging it all the time that you left? Beast mode since you left I haven’t been me.. I am lazy again.. even when I try I know I’m not trying like when you were around. I failed at WTM 2x in a row… struggled through an Ultra beast, will powered a Goruck HTL and Died with every ultra Race I attempted from DNFing two 100 miles races one of which you know I trained very hard for (was it not good enough?), throwing up during a 50, and going from 1st place a Bataan to 4th place in the last 100 ft. I gave up at those events. You see Beast mode I am not done with us yet. I’m not done with YOU yet… Maybe you thought I had learned all your lessons but I did not fully soak them in.
Beast mode please give me one more chance to embrace your teachings and feel fully alive while competing and training again? Give me your strength, dedication, and willpower so I can teach others your ways. Please bring your friends back too. I also miss DFQ, STFU, Bad idea, and Shenanigans I miss them too.
Beast mode I want you back…I Need you back
Sincerely your former badass,